Hasbro Inc. is collaborating with Disney Consumer Products on an array of dolls and accessories inspired by the upcoming movie, Descendants, which is premiering on Disney Channel this summer. Disney’s Descendants is a contemporary live-action adventure comedy that introduces the teenage progeny of Disney’s legacy characters—most notably its evil villains. [Read more...]
As reported by the Associated Press, The Walt Disney Co.‘s earnings rose 19 percent during the last three months of 2014, boosted by sales of Disney Frozen merchandise, as well as strong results from theme parks and networks such as Disney Channel. Sales of Frozen toys and other merchandise drove a 22 percent jump in consumer products sales to $1.4 billion.
In interviews with analysts and press, CEO Bob Iger pointed out that Frozen isn’t Disney’s only blockbuster franchise. The company has 11 franchises with more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales.
For the last three months of 2014, Disney earned $2.24 billion, while revenue rose 9 percent to $13.39 billion.
As initially reported by Deadline, Hasbro Inc. is in early talks to buy DreamWorks Animation SKG. The deal would give the toy maker, which has clout with major retailers, an animation studio that just recently began diversifying beyond the movies.
For each company, a deal could help accelerate movement beyond their core businesses. DreamWorks Animation has expanded into consumer products in recent years, but still lags behind Walt Disney Co., while Hasbro recently sold off some of its stake in the Hub cable network.
Through its relatively new film label, Allspark Pictures, Hasbro has movies in the works based on its toy brands, My Little Pony and Jem and the Holograms. It is also launching a new Transformers cartoon series on the Cartoon Network, having had trouble edging in on children’s networks Nickelodeon and Disney Channel.
Should a deal be reached, it would likely come during the next two to four weeks, and would result in a family entertainment powerhouse to be called DreamWorks-Hasbro, according to a source in the article. Hasbro could also have management of the new entity already in place: On Wednesday, the company appointed Stephen Davis, who has led Hasbro Studios since its launch in 2009, to the role of executive vice president, chief content officer.
In this new role, Davis will be responsible for developing content for Hasbro’s brands across multiple platforms. He will also work closely with Hasbro’s president and chief executive officer, Brian Goldner, to oversee Allspark Pictures (This aspect of Davis’ role was announced prior to news about the possible Hasbro-DreamWorks deal), as well as franchise films such as Transformers that are produced in partnership with major studios.
Disney Consumer Products has released a new product assortment in celebration of Star Wars Rebels, which debuts October 3 on Disney Channel and continues on October 13 on Disney XD. The show has inspired new lines of figures, spaceships and lightsabers, apparel and accessories, home décor, books, and more from licensees including Hasbro, Lego, Mad Engine, Rubies, and Jay Franco.
Disney Publishing Worldwide also supports the show with a new book program and series of mobile apps from Disney Lucasfilm Press that will expand upon the series. Star Wars Journeys, an episodic series of apps from Disney Publishing, will be updated this October to include the stories that lead up to the adventures in Star Wars Rebels. Star Wars Scene Maker will launch early next year and gives fans a storytelling experience that allows them to re-imagine and recreate scenes from the show. [Read more...]
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Discovery Communications Inc. and Hasbro Inc. are ending their equal partnership in The Hub, a cable network that hoped to become a force in children’s television against Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.
Under the terms being completed, Discovery would take a controlling interest in The Hub and reposition the channel as a family network aimed at parents as well as children. Hasbro will retain a large stake in the service and control six hours of daytime programming on the network, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Launched in 2010 with a $300 million investment from Hasbro for half of the network, The Hub was designed to be an outlet for some of Hasbro’s best-known toy brands, including G.I. Joe, Transformers, and My Little Pony.
The makeover could take place as early as the fourth quarter, with The Hub renamed Discovery Family.
DHX Media has appointed Jazwares Inc. as the global master toy partner on preschool property Ella the Elephant for the U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland, Latin America, Middle East, Australia, Spain, and Norway. The deal will enable Jazwares to launch worldwide plush, dolls figures, and play sets, vehicles, role play, and musical instruments based on the animated preschool series, which is currently airing weekdays on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.
Ella the Elephant is a charming and whimsical animated preschool series based on the award-winning Ella the Elegant Elephant book series written by Carmela D’Amico and illustrated by Steven D’Amico. The series follows the adventures of Ella and her friends on Elephant Islands. Ella is a spirited little elephant with a big heart, bigger imagination, and a magic hat that can transform into almost anything.
Star Wars Day, an unofficial holiday created by Star Wars fans to celebrate the sci-fi franchise, took place this past Sunday, May 4. To mark the occasion, Lucasfilm released a new minute-long trailer for Star Wars Rebels. The animated TV series is scheduled to premiere this fall on Disney Channel, and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels worldwide.
The Disney Infinity Phineas and Ferb Toy Box Pack will be available nationwide on April 1. The new pack features the Phineas and Agent P characters from Disney Channel’s animated series Phineas and Ferb. Players embark on secret spy missions and defeat enemies with Agent P’s flying fedora or Phineas’ baseball blaster and tuck and roll moves, and both character figures are accompanied by their own unique adventures. In the Phineas Adventure, players are sent into a giant pinball machine and challenged to create a play field where they can destroy waves of oncoming robots. In the Agent P adventure, players can participate in a top-down adventure with side-scrolling elements that pay homage to old school arcade games.
The Phineas and Ferb Toy Box Pack will also include two new power discs to give players’ Toy Boxes a makeover: The Tri-State Area Terrain Texture Set and the Danville Sky Sky Theme, each of which provides players with well-known location backgrounds from the show, including the Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated building.
Jazwares has created a new Gravity Falls toy line based on the popular Disney TV series. The line-up will include figures, plush, role-play, and play-set toys, and the first wave will see release this fall at retailers across the U.S.
The initial retail focus of the toy line will be in specialty stores nationwide. Currently, Gravity Falls is a top-rated show on Disney Channel among kids ages 2 to 11 and 6 to 11, and tweens ages 9 to 14. It follows the adventures of Dipper and Mabel Pines, twins spending the summer with their eccentric great-uncle Stan in the town of Gravity Falls, Oregon, where things are never as they seem.
Lego Systems will release new Lego Star Wars products based on the new Star Wars Rebels animated TV series, which is scheduled to premiere on Disney Channel this fall before appearing regularly on Disney XD. The new building sets were unveiled at a Disney Consumer Products event on February 17 and will launch on August 1. They include the Lego Star Wars The Ghost building set, which is based on the Rebel heroes’ starship, The Ghost, and has dual cockpits, a 360-degree rotating turret, two spring-loaded shooters, ejecting escape pods, and several new minifigures. Consisting of a total of 929 pieces, it is suitable for kids ages 9 and up.
The second building set, Lego Star Wars Phantom, is an attack shuttle that works in conjunction with The Ghost set. The Phantom model features 234 pieces and includes folding wings, tools, and a detachable cockpit with cargo hold where pilot Ezra Bridger can store his cadet helmet and blaster. Ezra and his grumpy Droid companion Chopper are also brought to Lego minifigure form. The set is suitable for kids ages 7 and up.
The introduction of Lego Star Wars Rebels coincides with the 15th anniversary of Lego Star Wars, the first licensed property ever to come to life in Lego form.